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Mixed results for arthritis drug repurposed as Covid-19 treatment

A trio of new studies published in JAMA Internal Medicine on Tuesday examining the efficacy of an arthritis drug against Covid-19 showed inconsistent results. Tocilizumab has been used by doctors since the start of the pandemic with the hope of tamping down an abnormal immune response known as a “cytokine storm” that causes severe organ damage in some hospitalized Covid-19 patients.

Of the three new studies, the largest was led by the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women′s Hospital in the United States on more than 4,000 critically ill Covid-19 patients.